Originally Posted by Redcard
I don't think Amazon is going to do this. They already have had a heck of a time getting publishers to agree to ONE checkout a month per person. My source tells me that this is just a minor feature of the Amazon Prime product and isn't planned on being increased. The costs that it'd take to increase it are in the realm of $15-$20 per user per month.
Ah, but there are publishers and there are publishers.
The thing about the KDP and the Prime library is they are opt-in operations.
The Price Fix Six would-be overlords have no say to on it.
What Amazon is doing with the Prime Library is an experiment to establish the parameters--total usage, checkout distribution, payout formula, sales enhancement/degradation, etc--that define the service as a *business*. Once they (and the participating publishers and authors) get the data from this experiment they can analyze it and make cold, fact-based decisions on whether or not to continue the experiment, end it, or take it to the next level.
Right now, the checkout fee is determined by two variables: the size of the pool, which is (arbitrarily?) set by Amazon and checkout rate, which is a function of the book/author itself. Presumably, once the impact of the library on *amazon* sales can be quantified, the size of the pool will be adjusted to track the added revenue.
It is at that point that Amazon could spin it off as a standalone service, with its own subscription rate. Based on the current author payouts, I would expect a monthly fee based on around $1.99-$2.49 for one book a month and maybe $4.99 for three or four.
But there is no guarantee that it will ever be spun off thatway. There are other ways to leverage the Prime Library. Instead of explictly charging a monthly fee, Amazon could tie it to all hardware Kindles, not those of Prime subscribers. It certainly would change the reader business if each Kindle came with a free subscription to a library of 100k contemporary ebooks. And it might even allow Kindle pricing to be slighly higher than that their competitors.
There are lots of ways to play this game and there is no reason not to explore the possibilities just because a handful of publishers don't get it. For that matter, once the results of the experiment are in, it may be that the Price Fix Six, or at least some of their authors, will sign up for the Library.
The thing to consider is that it is early; the experiment needs to run a while longer before any valid conclusions can be made of the viability of the Lending Library.